Friday, 29 June 2012

Review: Statue of Ku (Moa Series, #2) by Tricia Stewart Shiu (Novel Publicity Whirlwind tour stop)

from goodreads

The second book in the Moa Book Series follows Hillary and Moa as they jet to Egypt on the Prince’s private plane to reclaim Moa’s family heirloom, the inimitable statue of Ku. Once on the ground, however, they find that their search is less about retrieving a treasured family possession and more about tracing a healing path in their genetic lineage to its true beginning. Their journey involves magic, sacrifice and discovering their unique healing gifts, which live within all of us. Their story intertwines with that of the real boy, Ku — his questions, his travails and, eventually, his triumph. In their continuing search for the Statue, Hillary and Moa find that the answer to every question they seek is where they least expect it and that healing gifts are not lost but merely forgotten.

Review

Statue of Ku was an amazing sequel to Moa. I love that the series is filled with colourful illustrations and the parts I found hard to adapt to in Moa, like the dual perspectives and spiritual overtones, I loved in Statue of Ku. I guess these things took me by surprise in Moa but in Statue of Ku, I expected it and it added a great deal to the story.

Statue of Ku takes place in Egypt and the story centers around Ku, whose statue Hillary, Heidi, Moa and Molly are in search of. It is important that they ensure the soul of Ku returns to his statue to prevent his descendants, which includes Moa herself, from ceasing to exist. The story of Ku is also told and that was my favourite part of the book!

Hillary, Heidi, Moa and Molly, you made a fun team! It was amazing to see Molly, who had started out as a skeptic, truly accept everything that was going on around them. After the events of the previous book, Moa had been reduced to human form and watching her adapt to the life she had once left was interesting. I expected her to enjoy being human again and I was surprised by what she had wanted all along.

Ku, your story blew me away! I loved how you overcame the odds and the people around you played a large role in both pulling you back and allowing you to move forward. The need to overcome fear and self-doubt to achieve your true purpose played a large role in this book and this quote, really, is the reason this book had such a profound impact on me:

"You can either let fear control you or let it go. The choice is up to you."

This series has been an unexpected source of calm and comfort to me! I expected it to be about witchcraft in the traditional sense but got something else entirely which wasn't a bad thing at all. If you liked Moa and the metaphysical world holds your interest, you will love this series!

Publication date: 10th May, 2012
Publisher: Human Being Publishing
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

- - -
As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Moa and Statue of Ku eBook editions have both been dropped to just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing either of these fantastic books at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include $600 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of each book. All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment--easy to enter; easy to win!
To win the prizes:
  1. Purchase your copies of Moa and Statue of Ku for just 99 cents
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity
  3. Visit today’s featured social media event
About Moa:
Eighteen-year-old, Hillary, anticipates adventure as she embarks for trip to Honolulu, but gets more than she bargained for when Moa, an ancient Hawaiian spirit, pays her an unexpected visit. Get it on Amazon.

About Statue of Ku
:

The second book in the Moa Book Series, "The Statue of Ku" follows Hillary and Moa as they jet to Egypt on the Prince’s private plane to reclaim Moa’s family heirloom, the inimitable statue of Ku. Get it on Amazon.

About the author:

Tricia Stewart Shiu combines her addiction to the written word with her avid interest in the healing arts and all things metaphysical in her novels Moa and Statue of Ku and looks forward to finding new ways to unite her two loves. Visit Tricia on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

Review: Moa by Tricia Stewart Shiu (Novel Publicity Whirlwind tour stop)

from goodreads

Hillary Hause is not a witch. But, everyone in her conservative small town thinks so. When she is given a trip to Hawaii for graduation, this energetic eighteen-year-old anticipates adventure but gets more than she bargained for when Moa, an ancient Hawaiian spirit, pays her an unexpected visit.
With the help of her older sister, Molly and her seven-year-old niece, Heidi, Hillary embarks on a journey in which she not only saves herself, her family and Moa, but also the Hawaiian Islands. In the end, she learns to accept herself and her spiritual gifts warts and all.

Review

Reading Moa felt like taking a giant leap into the metaphysical as I was confronted with a lot of elements I knew little about. Hillary meets Moa, an ancient Hawaiian spirit and with the help of her older sister and niece, they embark into a journey of rituals, healing and much more to get over her sister's husband's death and ultimately save the Hawaiian islands.

In the beginning, it felt confusing to wade through third person only to find an alternating (or parallel?) first person perspective but I grew comfortable with it pretty soon. I loved how there was so much subtext underlying the battling of rogue spirits and unlocking of the Ancient Portal.

I was at a pretty bad state while reading this book, since my final year in college is turning out to be pretty stressful and every word I read clung to me; whether it was Hillary getting over incidents at school that still affected her or the need to believe to make available the passage to the light. I felt myself wanting to clear the spottiness from my chakras and wanting everything the characters got by the end of their adventure.

Moa was filled with incredibly diverse characters... it was interesting to meet all the rogue spirits though I wished the Grandad could've been fleshed out a bit more. It also took a while for me to get into the story... for the events to shift from being plain bizarre to meaningful. Nevertheless, set against the backdrop of the Hawaiian islands, I loved the lore, the journey and felt like picking up The Statue of Ku (Moa Series #2) right away!

Publication date: 1st February, 2012
Publisher: Human Being Publishing
Links:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

- - -

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Moa and Statue of Ku eBook editions have both been dropped to just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing either of these fantastic books at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include $600 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of each book. All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment--easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:

  1. Purchase your copies of Moa and Statue of Ku for just 99 cents
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity
  3. Visit today’s featured social media event
About Moa: Eighteen-year-old, Hillary, anticipates adventure as she embarks for trip to Honolulu, but gets more than she bargained for when Moa, an ancient Hawaiian spirit, pays her an unexpected visit. Get it on Amazon.

About Statue of Ku
: The second book in the Moa Book Series, "The Statue of Ku" follows Hillary and Moa as they jet to Egypt on the Prince’s private plane to reclaim Moa’s family heirloom, the inimitable statue of Ku. Get it on Amazon.

About the author:
Tricia Stewart Shiu combines her addiction to the written word with her avid interest in the healing arts and all things metaphysical in her novels Moa and Statue of Ku and looks forward to finding new ways to unite her two loves. Visit Tricia on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

I never thought I'd say this but...: On E-books versus paperbacks

©  On books!
It's that frequently asked question: E-books or paperbacks?

I've always thought paperbacks! I mean, there is nothing like a physical book. It smells amazing and it's great to physically turn the pages. When my copy of The Fault in Our Stars arrived, I couldn't stop squealing after seeing the beautiful book with its beautiful cover font that looked even prettier as a hardback! When I own a physical book, I actually feel like I own it. That's just not the case with an e-book.

But here's the thing... over the past year of having to get e-books out of necessity (if the book I want isn't out in my country, shipping and everything is too pricey... it's better to buy it on my Kindle App), I must have changed my mind about preferring paperbacks without realising it.

Recently, when I was reading a paperback (The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith which was extremely cute!) after months of reading only digital copies:
  • I was itching to highlight quotes or parts of the book that I loved. But I cannot highlight or write stuff on paperbacks. (I could but it would get really messy)
  • I missed adding notes as and when I was reading the book without having to hunt for a notepad
  • I missed checking out the popular highlights which combines the highlights of all Kindle customers and helps in identifying the passages with the most highlights! That feature is pure genius and always makes me feel like I'm reading the book with several other awesomely like-minded people!
  • I felt less comfortable reading a paperback while snacking as opposed to when I was reading on my iPad
  • I missed not having to mark the place where I'd stopped reading. I keep chucking random stuff in my paper book in the place of bookmarks which always ends up falling off or something
  • I missed being able to read even after the lights were switched off
With the exception of paperbacks being nicer to read on the bus or in college (I'm scared I'll misplace my iPad or basic Kindle if I take it out of the house), I think I kind of maybe prefer e-books these days. I have no idea how that happened! I was always sure e-books would never ever win the "paperbacks vs. e-books" battle but for me, it just did!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Review: Torn (Trylle Trilogy #2) by Amanda Hocking

from goodreads

The second book in this page-turning trilogy from the phenomenal Amanda Hocking
Acknowledging that she was different from everyone else wasn’t difficult for Wendy Everly – she’d always felt like an outsider. But a new world and new family is a hard for any girl to accept easily.
Leaving behind the mysterious country of her birth, she is determined to fit back into normal life. But the world she’s left behind won’t let her go that easily. Kidnapped and imprisoned by her true family’s enemies, Wendy soon learns that the lines between good and evil aren’t as defined as she thought. And those things she’d taken for granted may have been lies all along. With the help of the dangerously attractive Loki, she escapes back to the safety of F├Ârening – only to be confronted by a new threat.
It’s time to make a choice – can she put aside her personal feelings for the sake of her country? Torn between duty and love she must make a choice that could destroy her one chance at true happiness.

review

There is something about this series that completely enchants me! Switched was a great read and somehow, Torn managed to be even better! 

For one, I love reading about the trolls in Forening, otherwise called Trylle. Especially since in between training with Tove and the pangs Wendy is left with from her encounters with Finn in the palace, Wendy seems to have grown up. I loved how gradual the growth was. How as it became apparent that her birth mother, Elora's days are numbered, Wendy starts realising that as future Queen, she would have to make decisions that aren't exactly in conjunction with her heart.

I liked that we also got acquainted with the Vittra people and learned about Wendy's links with them. Learning more about the history between the Vittra and Trylle was certainly interesting. Especially since in the process I got to meet Loki! ❤ I loved him and Wendy together and I certainly hope he's back to cause more trouble very soon!

I couldn't get enough of Torn as it was overflowing with back story and subplots concerning almost every character I wished to know better after Switched... whether it was Finn, Finn's father, Elora or Matt. I also adored Wendy's new tracker, Duncan who was another fun person whose presence throughout the book could've been annoying but was anything but.

The ending was absolutely heartbreaking. It took my breath away and I cannot wait to read Ascend, which I hope will be a magical conclusion to this fantastic series. This book was amazing, especially since it took place in a world I would love to be a part of. I loved the characters, subplots, plot twists and all the growth seen in the sequel and my expectations for Ascend (Trylle Trilogy #3) have just skyrocketed!

Publication date: 1st March, 2012
Publisher: Tor
Source: Bought

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Review: ALIBI Vol. I-IV: The Complete Series by Annie Miles, Isabel Eckersley, John Byrne, Sorrel Provola

From goodreads

Abigail Shelton is dead.

Spring Valley's golden girl is found floating face-down in her boyfriend’s pool, hands bound behind her back, head bleeding, drugs and alcohol in her system. Her friends are the only suspects – and they all have reasons to want her dead. Everyone has an alibi, but no one is innocent.
ALIBI is a 4-part young adult e-book series. Each one-hundred page installment reveals the perspective of a different character: the secret love, the nemesis, the boyfriend, the best friend. As their tales unfold, we learn that Abby is not as perfect as everyone believes, but she’s not the only one with secrets to hide. This page-turning tale of suspense, betrayal, murder, and lust will keep fans of Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars up and reading well past curfew.

review

This series is so OH MY GOD. There is no other way to describe this absolutely amazing four part series that kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end!

I loved the concept of the perspectives of four people in this mini-series taking you in all sorts of directions until finally, you figured out how Abigail Shelton, who seemed like the girl who had it all ended up drugged, bleeding and dead; floating face down in her boyfriend, the governor's son's pool at the night of the governor's fundraiser.

Marketed as Gossip Girl meets Pretty Little Liars, this series is filled with characters with the most outrageous and drama-filled lives. I wouldn't want to live their lives but it was exciting to read about them. I loved how the ALIBI series involved having to wade through almost every scandal I've read about in Young Adult fiction/TV to arrive at a conclusion that was startling yet satisfying. It wasn't the who but the how that made this whodunnit a thrilling read!

Volume I: Charles by Annie Miles definitely helped set the stage! I was immediately drawn to Charles, Mason (the governor's son)'s cousin from Australia. Charles was charming, almost too charming and his version of the events leading to Abby being found floating face down in the pool are the first glimpse we get into the lives of these characters. Charles was probably the first to sense that there was so much more to Abby than what people saw and even at the end of all the four parts, I was convinced we didn't know everything about her.

Volume II: Palmer by Isabel Eckersley was my favourite part of the series. This was mainly because Palmer was one of the few characters I could sympathise with. Palmer is the girl Charles falls for which, in a way, triggers everything and it was great knowing more about her. I didn't like her in Charles, but in Palmer, I felt myself mentally cheering for her to emerge victorious in the grand scheme of things.

Volume III: Mason by John Byrne cemented my opinion of Mason. In the earlier parts, he seemed vengeful and insanely jealous of Charles who seemed to have taken everything that was Mason's from when he'd arrived. But by the end of Mason, it's clear that he was more of a pawn in someone else's game. That made me feel sorry for him.

Volume IV: Rowan by Sorrel Provola... oh my god, Rowan. I hated this girl. I hated her in the other volumes and hated her even more when we were shown the events from her perspective. I got to know so much more about the other characters while seeing the events through Rowan's eyes. For one thing, there were parts conveniently omitted by one of the characters in the initial parts and Rowan's perspective made me get the full picture about this person.

This was such a great series! I loved that the four characters were portrayed so thoroughly by four different authors and it all added up perfectly. By each author taking on the perspective of one character, I guess it also gave each character a truly distinct voice... When I read books with multiple perspectives, I sometimes find that it's difficult to distinguish between the perspectives but that was never a problem with this series.

I loved the way the mystery was unraveled: piece by piece. The governor's fundraiser was definitely a night of drama and revelations as Charles, Palmer, Mason, Rowan and Abby revealed things about themselves or others around them that were earth shattering. The ALIBI series from Twist Literary was sheer genius and had me reading into the early morning hours!

Publication date: 29th February, 2012
Publisher: Twist Literary
Source: Twist Literary (Thank you so much!)
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Review: Lies Beneath (Lies Beneath #1) by Anne Greenwood Brown

From goodreads

Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother's death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family's homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily. Easy enough—especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistable good looks and charm on ususpecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily—just as Lily starts to suspect that there's more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.

review

Lies Beneath took me to the depths of Lake Superior and not once did I feel like coming up for air. It was brilliant!

I'm relatively new to mermaid YA and I'm already tempted to say Lies Beneath is the best(est) in the genre. The mermaids in Lies Beneath are vengeful and murderous. They kill humans by absorbing their energy and are mainly attracted to positive emotions. Calder White may not have killed a human in five months but he's now, along with his three sisters, on a mission to lure Jason Hancock to Lake Superior; given that Jason's father was said to be responsible for their mother's death.

It was very easy to get lost in this novel. I loved the setting and the little things that were revealed about these mermaids. In many ways, Calder was That Paranormal Being who tried to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily, in order to get to Jason with intense stares, relentless stalking and a lot of creepiness that could be mistaken for sexiness.

Thank you, Lily, for getting appropriately peeved and staying away rather than getting instantaneously drawn to somebody who at least initially seemed like he had CREEP written all over him. Sure, you did finally succumb to his charms but it was way after the endless stalking and when you were looking for answers of your own.

Thank you, sisters of Calder, for being a breath of fresh air! I loved to hate you! I was oddly fascinated by Maris's tenacity, Pavati's deadly charm and what became of Tallulah. There was so much to these sisters and I wanted to know even more about them.

Lies Beneath was intense and while easy to read, it also got pretty dark. The climax was a bit too formulaic but honestly, it didn't matter. I was engaged throughout and loved the fluid plot progression. It looks like this is a series (since it says it's Lies Beneath #1) which is great as I cannot wait to read and get to know even more about the mermaids and mermen in Lies Beneath!

Publication date: 12th June, 2012
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Source: NetGalley
Links: Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

TMST#6: On my favourite TV shows!


Tell Me Something Tuesday is an awesome meme hosted by Cambria Hebert!

This week's question:

Let's talk TV! What are your favourite shows?

It's so great to do a Tell Me Something Tuesday post after so long! I love TV. And I actually prefer TV shows to movies as my attention span is such that I'd rather watch a string of 30-40 minute episodes than a two and a half hour movie. While the list of my favourite TV shows is endless, I figured I would narrow it down to three four five of my absolute favourites.

The OC. The theme song by Phantom Planet is fabulous. And hello, Seth Cohen. ❤

Modern Family. I LOVE THE CHARACTERS TO BITS. Gloria, Luke and Phil are my favourites. Mockumentaries ftw.

Veronica Mars. Hello smart, real, fun, funny and plain awesome TV show. Kristin Bell was brilliant in this. I loved the plots and the characters and almost everything about this show.

Glee. Again, I love the characters. They are so much fun and so real. I love that Rachel, Finn, Quinn, Santana, Brittany, Mercedes, Artie, Kurt, Sam, Tina, Puck and the rest of the Glee Club couldn't be more different but together they are a part of something amazing. I can spend the whole day listening to their covers that are even better than the original.

My So-Called Life. Why do we have only nineteen episodes of this fabulous show? I cannot believe it was cancelled so early. Angela was someone I could relate to and I loved that My So-Called Life was about underrated but real issues. It captured the teen years so brilliantly and beautifully.

What are your fave TV shows? x)

Friday, 8 June 2012

Sykosa, Part I: Junior Year free day + Guest post by Justin Ordonez

As mentioned yesterday, Sykosa, Part I: Junior Year by Justin Ordonez is free in the Amazon Kindle store on 7th and 8th June. There's less than a day left, so be sure to grab a copy of Sykosa, Part I: Junior Year if you haven't already!

Also, if you, like me, have finished reading Sykosa, Part I and can't stop wondering what Part II is all about... OR if you are simply curious about the themes prevalent in Sykosa... this guest post by Justin Ordonez is for you! I'm extremely happy to have Justin on my blog highlighting some of the themes prevalent in Sykosa, Part II! So without further ado...

Hey all,

Ajoop thought you might all be interested in some Sykosa, Part II teasers. I’m working on Part II, but it might be a while before it’s finished. Let’s go ahead and take a look at some of the major themes.

1) Part I deals with the presence and influence of pornography in the youth of America. Because of the Internet, these are kids, especially the boys, who often have an extensive sexual knowledge base, and as the Internet often does on any variety of topics, it’s turned these young men into arm-chair know-it-all sexual aficionados who’ve done almost none of the things they watch. As a consequence, they feel little tie or responsibility to it.

In Part I, Sykosa is both turned off and understandably curious when she finds out Tom has watched so much pornography. Like a lot of young women smothered by these ideas in society, I think Sykosa is reluctant to judge it too quickly, or to listen to her gut reaction to it. Though, in Part II, we’ll see that Sykosa’s initial interest cools and she has a bit of a retreat from her previous stance. This will change the dynamic of the relationship: Is Tom willing to stop? And if he’s not, why do these images of women hold such allure and power over him? What are they accomplishing? How does this conflict with how Sykosa views herself and her friends?

2) At the end of the novel, Niko makes a startling, mean-spirited comment about Jesus Christ. As we saw in the book, Niko faced immediate social ostracization for the statement. Because of this, I thought it was safe to keep it in. We are going to dive further into how Niko’s provocative nature, and her ability to create division amongst people, is really a means of furthering her own self-agenda, and is part of Niko’s egomaniacal nature. We will see how by creating enemies, and doing things that appear “crazy,” Niko achieves fantastic amounts of control and power over people.

While we are learning this, we will realize that Niko is not revolutionary in this idea. She is, in fact, just copying what the Administration does.

3) Since all the main characters are women, an examination into the sexism within the church and the Academy will be extensive in Part II (primarily because, in Part I, the major set piece is Niko’s cottage. In Part II, the major set piece is the Academy itself). This examination will be connected to “last year.” There’s going to be an interesting dynamic here. While we watch Niko irresponsibly use this dynamic for her self-gain, we will see that Niko is not imagining the bias environment of the Academy.

Is it okay for Niko to manipulate the system that manipulates her?

Is it moral?

4) You will find out what happened “last year.” Most of Sykosa’s story lines in Part II are completely connected to it. “Last year” stops being a vague notion and must be confronted, so it’s hard to give teasers on Sykosa without giving it all away.

5) Interlude II is told exclusively from Tom’s perspective.

To make a small disclosure, I think those who stick around for Part II will be in for a real treat. It’s hard to get deep into things in Part I, for obvious reasons and necessity of storytelling. Sykosa is a very special girl, though, and I promise you that she will not let you down. It’s safe to put your faith in her, she’s someone who’s worth fighting for. Now we just need to find a way to get people reading and enjoying her!

Please get yourself the novel on its free days, then insist your friends do it too! I love hearing from my readers, stop by my contact page @ www.sykosa.com/bio.html and send me a message. Or follow me @ facebook.com/sykosanovel or goodreads.com/sykosa.

Take care,
Justin

from goodreads

Sykosa (that's "sy"-as-in-"my" ko-sa) is a junior in high school. She belongs to an exclusive clique of girls called the "Queens." The leader is her best friend Niko. Their friendship has been strained lately because Tom—Sykosa's first boyfriend boyfriend—has gotten all serious about making her his pretty Prom princess. That is if he ever gets around to asking her. Before Prom, there's a party at Niko's cottage where parental supervision will be nil. He wants to have sex. She doesn't. He sometimes acts like that doesn't matter.

It matters.

Sykosa has a secret she has never told anyone about. Although, some people—Tom included—know anyway. It happened last year and it was big and she'll cry if she talks about it so she's done talking about it, okay? Never mind, it's nobody's business. Except it keeps happening, and it never stops. She doesn't want to deal with it. He does. She sometimes acts like that doesn't matter.

It matters.


Thursday, 7 June 2012

Sykosa, Part I: Junior Year- FREE on 7th and 8th June!

That's right! On 7th and 8th June (that's today and tomorrow), Sykosa, Part I: Junior Year by Justin Ordonez will be free on Amazon's Kindle store. I found Sykosa, Part I: Junior Year to be a gritty, differently written and intense coming of age novel! You can read my full review of Sykosa, Part I, which I posted on April as a part of a blog tour HERE

If you think Sykosa, Part I: Junior Year is the kind of novel you'd enjoy, be sure to snatch it up on one of the free days!

from goodreads

Sykosa (that's "sy"-as-in-"my" ko-sa) is a junior in high school. She belongs to an exclusive clique of girls called the "Queens." The leader is her best friend Niko. Their friendship has been strained lately because Tom—Sykosa's first boyfriend boyfriend—has gotten all serious about making her his pretty Prom princess. That is if he ever gets around to asking her. Before Prom, there's a party at Niko's cottage where parental supervision will be nil. He wants to have sex. She doesn't. He sometimes acts like that doesn't matter.

It matters.

Sykosa has a secret she has never told anyone about. Although, some people—Tom included—know anyway. It happened last year and it was big and she'll cry if she talks about it so she's done talking about it, okay? Never mind, it's nobody's business. Except it keeps happening, and it never stops. She doesn't want to deal with it. He does. She sometimes acts like that doesn't matter.

It matters.



For those who have already read Sykosa, Part I: Junior Year or want to know more about the series, do stop by tomorrow for a guest post by Justin Ordonez highlighting the themes prevalent in Sykosa, Part TWO!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Review: The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry

From goodreads

This dark and thrilling adventure, with an unforgettable heroine, will captivate fans of steampunk, fantasy, and romance. On her 18th birthday, Lena Mattacascar decides to search for her father, who disappeared into the northern wilderness of Scree when Lena was young. Scree is inhabited by Peculiars, people whose unusual characteristics make them unacceptable to modern society. Lena wonders if her father is the source of her own extraordinary characteristics and if she, too, is Peculiar. On the train she meets a young librarian, Jimson Quiggley, who is traveling to a town on the edge of Scree to work in the home and library of the inventor Mr. Beasley. The train is stopped by men being chased by the handsome young marshal Thomas Saltre. When Saltre learns who Lena’s father is, he convinces her to spy on Mr. Beasley and the strange folk who disappear into his home, Zephyr House. A daring escape in an aerocopter leads Lena into the wilds of Scree to confront her deepest fears.

cover

Don't you love the cover? I wanted to know more about the woman with wings and was enchanted by the backdrop and the font!

review

I didn't find The Peculiars to be a "dark and thrilling adventure" as stated in the summary. It was far too slow paced to be "thrilling" or even dark but to me, The Peculiars was a charming coming of age tale and I loved that it was set in the 1800s.

The Peculiars is the story of Lena Mattacascar who, on turning eighteen, gets a map with directions to her father's family mine located at Scree. She sets off on a journey to Scree, hoping she will learn more about the man who walked out on her family along the way. Scree is a place inhabited by Peculiars: people with unusual characteristics who are branded as beings without souls. Lena, who has abnormally huge feet and hands with extra knuckles, wonders if she is half-Peculiar and if that predisposes her in any way to turn out like her father.

I haven't read books from the steam punk genre before and I have a feeling this isn't quite it. Though they were many steam punk elements that I enjoyed, like the aerocopter, I am told this is not hardcore steam punk! At the same time, I was perfectly fine with the inventions and the lore of Scree being relegated to the background. The Peculiars is all about Lena and her journey of self doubt leading to self acceptance.

Lena was a character I didn't exactly relate to but was comfortable with. I enjoyed watching her learn more about herself and despite the moments of being made to feel she was dangerous because of her heritage gnawing at her, she emerged stronger than ever! I found myself cheering for her during the moments when she finally neared self acceptance!

I enjoyed getting to know the other characters as well. Mr. Beasley was an absolute marvel but I wondered what drove him to become the person he was. I liked Jimson... I didn't love him but he seemed right for Lena! Mr. Mumbles, the Scree cat, gradually stole my heart as well the way pets in books usually do! I loved that the book was never in a rush to say what it had to say. This may also be the very thing people may not like about this book but it worked for me.

I thought the chapter titles were charmingly quaint and were a better reflection of the book than the cover or the blurb. The interesting bunch of characters, backdrop of the1800s, Mr. Beasley's Zephyr House and the existence and continued persecution of the Peculiars lent a unique atmosphere to this slow paced but heartfelt coming of age story! The Peculiars was a slow but worthwhile read for me. I'm definitely glad I got to read this book!

Publication date: 1st May, 2012
Publisher: ABRAMS/Amulet Books
Source: NetGalley
Links: Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Sunday Post #5



The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer!
~ Inspired by the meme In My Mailbox.~
It's a chance to share news.
A post to recap the past week,
showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

I've had a pretty great week and that makes me sure I don't want the summer to end! I'll definitely be stocking up on summer reads to make it last as long as it can!☺

My week in review

Review: Charlinder's Walk by Alyson Miers (Novel Publicity Blog Tour stop)

Review: The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines

On BEA Buzz Books: Excerpts from over 30 Top Fall 2012 Titles

I am currently reading

I'm nearly done with The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry. I cannot wait to post my review! I thoroughly enjoyed almost every aspect of this book!

I have also started reading Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown. Definitely excited to get started on this mermaid book, especially since these are dangerous mermaids that prey on humans!

And here's my book haul for the week

Bought

Anne of Avonlea by L. M. Montgomery * Hourglass by Myra McEntire 

If you visit my blog regularly, you probably know how much I love Anne of Green Gables! Other than reading two other L. M Montgomery books out of sequence, I never got to read as much of the Anne series as I would've liked to! Which is why when I found Anne of Avonlea on sale at my favourite bookstore, I picked it up without thinking twice! I am beyond excited to be able to meet Anne and Gilbert Blythe after such a long gap! And don't you love the cover? It's so me! I'm so glad I got this exact edition!

It also looks like everybody got Hourglass this week! I hope it's as great as it sounds! I have Timepiece waiting to be read right after... so I hope I like this series! It definitely sounds amazing since it's about time travel!

For review

Fall For You (The Jane Austen Academy Series #1) by Cecilia Gray

Fall For You is another book I've been wanting to read for a while! I'm very excited to read this Pride and Prejudice retelling! I got this for a blog tour organised by AToMR book tours. I also loved the series trailer! Be sure to check it out HERE

Speaking of Pride and Prejudice retellings, I have been addicted to The Lizzie Bennet Diaries ever since Alison @ Alison Can Read mentioned it in her Bookish Recap a week back!! It's an insanely cute vlog series created by John Green's brother, Hank Green and is definitely made of awesome. I just have to spread the love! x)


What are you currently reading? And what books did you get this week?

Saturday, 2 June 2012

On BEA Buzz Books: Excerpts from over 30 Top Fall 2012 Titles

While I wish I could attend Book Expo America (BEA) someday, I was more than happy to be able to check out excerpts from some of the top Fall 2012 titles, thanks to BEA Buzz Books: Excerpts from over 30 Top Fall 2012 Titles from Publishers Lunch. Of course, I skimmed through most of the excerpts as I was mainly excited to read the excerpts of the Young Adult titles! I had a great time sampling books from almost every sub genre of YA available and even read a few excerpts of books that weren't YA.

I can hardly wait to read these books. They sound so good! It's also great that at the end of each excerpt, there's a NetGalley link to request the book as well as other publicity details.

Kelly @ The Written World's really fun list of most awaited releases featured in BEA Buzz Books (which you can check out HERE) also inspired me to create my own list of the books whose release I'll be eagerly anticipating this fall!☺Here's my list of seven books I'm most excited about:

Every Day by David Levithan

I've been waiting for the release of Every Day ever since I saw the cover and synopsis because:

  • It's by David Levithan whose books are awesome!! 
  • The premise sounds out-of-this-world intriguing and amazing!! 

The excerpt only made me want to read Every Day even more! A, who wakes up everyday in a different person's body wakes up as Justin and on meeting Justin's girlfriend Rhiannon, he is instantly drawn to her and ends up breaking a dozen rules he usually follows while spending each day as a different person. I was left with so many questions at the end of the excerpt and was totally hooked on to the story. I'll definitely be picking this one up when it releases!

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Mathew Dicks

This book is narrated by eight-year old Max's imaginary friend Budo. Budo has been Max's imaginary friend for nearly five years which is longer than most imaginary friends last. Budo's voice was so refreshing and the four chapters available for reading were amazing. I was easily sucked in and while this may not fall under YA, it's something I want to read! The summary says it's an enchanting novel "in the vein of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time" by Mark Haddon which I loved.

Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Three very different girls who want the same thing: sweet, sweet revenge. And they won't stop until they each had a taste. [italicised part taken from Goodreads] Oooh. I was sucked in immediately! The story is told in three perspectives, the perspectives of Mary, Lillia and Kat and takes place on an island called Jar Island. I'm guessing the three of them are about to get scorned big time leading to the three girls getting together for revenge on a large scale. It'll be interesting to see how this happens as the three girls are very different! I loved the pace and flow of the parts I read, so I'll be waiting to read this one!

Origin by Jessica Khoury

In the summary, Origin is said to be "the awakening romance of Matched with the mystery and jungle conspiracy of Lost." I loved Matched and Lost (minus the ending) so I am excited about Origin. Honestly, the excerpt didn't do much for me but it did introduce me to the characters, who were different and had my interest. Also, the plot sounds really interesting (especially with the main character growing up in a secret laboratory) and I love the jungle setting!

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Despite seeing this title all over the blogosphere, I was at first very 'meh' about it. The title was intriguing but just not my kind of intriguing and I never tried to read the summary. I'm so glad I read the excerpt! It sounds so good and I fell in love with nearly all of the characters. Calaena sounds like a really strong and interesting character and I hope we see more of Captain Westfall and the Prince!! I was hooked and wished I could read the rest immediately!

The Other Normals by Ned Vizzini

This is the story of a fifteen year old, Perry, who's obsessed with a fantasy Dungeons and Dragons-type role-playing game called Creatures & Caverns. He's shipped off to summer camp where he encounters a host of new otherworldly friends and his gaming skills might just help him embark on a quest with them!

I'm far from the Dungeons and Dragons-type fantasy role play gaming person but this book still sounds so good! The first chapter alone was really great. The conversation between Perry and his brother in the subway was hilarious and I love that this is a very unique coming of age story! Doesn't the cover remind you of the wizard chess scene at the last part of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone? ;-)

The Diviners by Libba Bray

Because I love Libba Bray! Her Gemma Doyle trilogy was fabulous and I liked what I'd got to read of The Diviners. Evie O'Neill sounds like a fascinating main character, especially since her supernatural ability is pretty amazing. It's been a while since I've read a murder mystery and since The Diviners centers around one, I cannot wait to read it!

The list of YA titles in BEA Buzz Books:
  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (Bloomsbury Children's)
  • Every Day by David Levithan (Knopf Children's)
  • Origin by Jessica Khoury (Penguin Kids)
  • Burn For Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian (Simon & Schuster Children)
  • The Diviners by Libba Bray (Little Brown Young Readers)
  • Tap Out by Eric Devine (Running Press Teen)
  • The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's)
  • The Other Normals by Ned Vizzini (HarperTeen)
  • Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler (Sourcebooks Fire)
Publication date: 18th May, 2012
Publisher: Publishers Lunch
Source: NetGalley 

Which of the Fall 2012 titles are you most excited about? Let me know in the comments section x)